Lychee farm with sediment detention basin that helps reduce the amount sediment, particulate nutrient and chemicals leaving the farm. Gillinbin Creek riparian vegetation is visible in the background.
Summary of progress
Gillinbin Creek drains from the Connors Range into the marine and estuarine Four Mile Beach Wetlands system just south of Yarrawanga Point. The catchment area extends down the coast along a rocky shore and well developed sand beach. The inshore waters are recognised as an important fish habitat area supporting regionally significant seagrass beds that are critical to sustaining local dugong and turtle populations. Extensive clearing for agricultural production has the capacity to impact on the hydrology of the wetlands and water quality entering the site, as well as impacting on fish community abundance and diversity.
In 2007, the Gillinbin Creek estuary and freshwater stream were rated as among the most undisturbed in the Mackay Whitsunday region. Ninety one percent of the catchment is utilised for grazing production with 3% under cane and horticulture production. Between 2007 and 2013, there have been efforts to improve water leaving cane and horticulture production areas to adjacent wetlands and marine areas. These improved management practice initiatives in cane and horticulture provide a solid foundation from which to expand management practice improvement in the grazing enterprises of the Gillinbin Creek catchment area.
Management practices that reduce atrazine and diuron loads continue to be a priority for cane and horticulture production. Grazing management practices that reduce total suspended sediment can be addressed through improved grazing management practices for event water quality.
All system repair actions that support an improvement in fish communities are the highest priority. Future management efforts will also focus on protecting and improving the coastal wetland extent and condition to support regeneration of inshore seagrass beds.